Sunday, 15 March 2009

Soaking Up SXSW


So this is my first SXSW.

Day 3 and the first hangover of the festival. Not just too many beers at the parties last night, but hungover from all that information, stimulation and just walking around Austin Convention Center.

There's 12,000 people here for SXSW Interactive alone. This picture is of a field of delegate bags laid out for collection.

207 different panels, 86 more intimate 'Core Conversations' plus 31 book readings.

That's alot of options to navigate.

I've resorted to good old fashioned pen and paper to plot what sessions to go to.

Highlights so far:

Scott Belsky with his Tips For Making Ideas Happen. I love ideas and I love projects and this was a great session for me. Scott talked about the importance of delivering ideas and had some insight for how team dynamics and project management can be re-engineered to support good idea generation.

Film-maker Gary Hustwit, designer Brendan Dawes and design firm head Jim Coudal each gave a presentation on the process of creativity and how technology has empowered each of them to make ideas happen.

And then there was Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh with his keynote of how he has built an organisation and a brand on one premise - great customer service.

Thanks to everyone who came to my Core Conversation co-hosted with Melissa Pierce yesterday, we had some great people turn up and we had a great discussion about the benefits of 'living the unplanned life'.

Word of SXSW: 'Awesome'. Everything - it seems - 'is awesome'. Being a Brit, I don't tend to 'do' awesome (yet).

Most Talked About Theme at SXSW: Twitter (of course). How Twitter is changing the world. The T Word has been mentioned at literally every session I have gone to (including my own), and everyone had a view on how it at last night's parties...

Gotta go, another session beckons. Awesome!

1 comment:

Richard Harrison said...

Hi Ian,

This is all sounding awesome! I haven't checked out the links yet to find out more about the sessions you attended, but the titles alone arouse interest.

Glad to hear that your pres. with Melissa went well - maybe you can do a blog specifically on that (if/when you have time!).

The scale of the event looks amazing (not to say daunting), but I'm sure you'll keep finding some gems. When you do, maybe you should describe them (in your best British accent) as "spiffing" or similar and start a new craze?!